Rest as a Form of Resistance
For the past four days, I’ve been battling something that isn’t COVID, not the flu A or B and ya’ll know if it's not one of those three things they just tell you to go home and rest. Rest. How am I possibly supposed to sit down and rest when there are so many things to be done? There is laundry to be folded, dishes to be washed, a kitchen to be cleaned. There are birthday parties, volunteer commitments, and prepping the house for the upcoming week.
My body has told me what I needed. Being out of breath after walking ten steps to the bathroom is a clear sign that you are sick and need to rest. Starting sentences and forgetting midsentence where you were going with the thought… the fogginess. You need rest!
I waited until the last possible minute to cancel the volunteer commitments I confirmed last month. A wave of guilt rushed over me each time I canceled. The little voice in my head whispered, “You definitely could’ve volunteered. You don’t even feel that bad. It is only five hours, then you can climb back into bed. You could even ride your bike afterward. And remember, you need to go by your Aunt’s too!”
Please little voice… cut it out! But also, little voice, you’re somewhat right. I can do it all, but that doesn’t mean that I SHOULD do it all. Why do I feel guilty for making a decision that is best for me at that moment? I am sick and could get others sick by following through with those volunteer commitments. In a [post?] COVID world, that is not the type of personal public health message I should even consider supporting. Continuing with that reasoning, I cancel my reservation for my class at Orange Theory on Monday morning. It's fine. I haven’t been in almost a week and if I can’t work out at my best, I’m really not helping my body in the long run. I can hear the little voice in my head smirk, “Not going for a week, yep, soon it’ll be two.”
When I “rest”, that little voice starts working HARD.
Today, was the first time in three days that sunlight directly touched my skin. I stepped outside to ReadyPost bag that dared you to step over it. I brought the bag inside, set it on my kitchen island making a note to open it as soon as I returned from my walk.
I chatted on the phone with one of my girlfriends and shared a story that had me so worked up, I could barely walk and talk. My body needs more rest. I finished my 3-mile walk and took a moment to use the momentum to sweep the floors and then shower. Things were straightened up enough to open the package. The package is from @SincerleySyreeta It’s a self-care swag bag! A “Empahthize, Evolve, Empower” t-shirt, Gynger Peach Tea, a loose tea infuser, a book titled “The Sustainable Beauty” and skincare goodies! What a beautiful reminder. I heated water in my favorite mug, loaded the tea infuser, and steeped for five minutes. I closed my eyes, taking deep breaths. As I drank my tea, I said to myself, “I cannot keep living like this. I cannot continue to feel guilty about taking time for myself, especially when I can barely function.”
Rest is not weakness. Rest is not earned, it’s my right. I shouldn’t have to ignore my basic needs to prove a point…who am I proving this point to? Myself, my job, my peers?
Down the Google rabbit hole, I ran…and found Rest as a form of Resistance by Tricia Hersey.
I promise you, all the books waiting to be read in my house are rolling all of their ‘i’ since I didn’t think twice about the purchase of “Rest as a Form of Resistance”
Who is Tricia Hersey? Oh, she likes to nap? Nap Ministry? She was on NPR, cool. She has a wordpress- cool. Social Media- I’ll follow.
After reading this article, I realized, my aversion to rest is rooted deeper than once thought. Which helped me realize, finding a way to sit in rest is more important than ever.
“Disrupt and push back against a system that views you as a machine. You are not a machine. You are a divine human being. WE WILL REST!” - Tricia Hersey
Do you find it hard to rest? Why do you think this is? What has helped you find and/or sit in rest?